A Chat With Oracle’s Cherian Varghese, VP & Regional MD of ASEAN & SAGE

October 16, 2020

For the past 25 years Cherian Varghese developed a strong pedigree in IT leadership while working across the Middle East, India, Africa and South East Asia; he now leads Oracle’s business across the ASEAN region.

Starting out as a sales rookie, he tracked through a variety of roles, including product & brand management, leading sales teams, heading up channel relationships and most recently, leading Oracle’s efforts across Africa as Regional Managing Director.

ABR recently caught up with him for a chat on all things Oracle.

ABR: The big announcement was that Oracle’s autonomous cloud services will be available in both the Oracle Public Cloud and customer’s data centre. Tell us more about this.

CV: To-date, many companies find it challenging to move to public cloud due to the laws surrounding data sovereignty.

This means that they are not able to enjoy the benefits of being on cloud, which include the ability to scale according to their business growth.

The availability of Oracle Autonomous Database on Exadata Cloud@Customer resolves this. 

By combining Oracle Autonomous with Exadata Cloud@Customer, customers can now harness its self-driving, self-securing, and self-repairing database capabilities for workloads that can’t move to the public cloud due to regulatory and latency reasons.

At the same time, they can also get the industry-leading performance and reliability of Exadata as a managed service behind their own firewalls, removing the challenges and complexities of procuring, managing and securing on-premise hardware.

It’s a win-win scenario all around, and can reduce database management costs by up to 80 percent. 

This allows companies to free up budget and developers for innovation, which is now based on an easy-to-use self-service database cloud.

Additionally, it helps organisations simplify and standardise operational policies that can be applied to all workloads, resulting in greater control and governance of data.  

Let me give you an example of a business which has benefited from Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse, Johor Ports.

Using the autonomous database running on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Johor Port has been able to automate the loading of 50 GB per day of data from multiple and diverse sources, such as gate sensors and visitor entry systems, to give its Terminal Operations team a full set of data visualizations that are updated every 10 minutes.

This offers a huge improvement over previous reports, which took hours to build and delivered an inferior set of insights. This means that the port can get trucks in and out faster and goods on and off ships faster, helping give it a competitive edge.  

For more information on this update and its capability, you may refer to our website at https://www.oracle.com/autonomous-database/autonomous-database-on-exadata-cloud-at-customer/

ABR: The Copy and Paste feature of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Into Your Data Center. No upfront costs, only pay for what you use. These are new elements. Are they really that groundbreaking?

CV: The term “copy and paste” here means having all, the exact same services as available on Oracle Public Cloud in your data centre.

This means Oracle is making all of its cloud services—more than 50 services—available on-premises so enterprises can use Oracle’s cloud services wherever they need them—in the cloud or on-premises via Cloud@Customer. 

This offering is the first of its kind, worldwide. We are yet to see anyone else offering the same deal. They offer a vastly scaled down core set of services, or want you to take their container platform software to facilitate a hybrid cloud model.  

As Gartner’s Lydia Leong shared recently in a blog, what customers want from public-cloud-consistent private cloud offerings is a location of their choice, that is not shared in terms of the data that resides there, or the control layer that is delivered as if it were the public cloud in terms of scalability and price, and that matches all of the vendor’s cloud services in the public cloud so that workloads can be transferred seamlessly.  

By having all the capabilities offered in Oracle Cloud, customers now have the full experience of a public cloud on-premise, including Oracle Autonomous Database, in their data centre. It overcomes the data sovereignty and protection laws, while effectively increasing the company’s performance across finance, HR, marketing, and supply chain through a completely integrated cloud experience on-premises.

ABR: There is a new announcement on the Oracle Autonomous Data Guard. Please elaborate on this.

CV: You can think of Oracle Autonomous Data Guard as your guardian angel. This much-awaited disaster recovery (DR) feature delivers high availability, data protection, and disaster recovery for enterprise data providing near zero data loss in the event of a catastrophic failure. 

Provisioned with just one click of a button, it brings a comprehensive set of services that create, maintain, manage, and monitor one or more stand by databases to provide protection against disasters and data corruption.

For example, if your primary data centre happens to be impacted by fire or flooding, your company’s applications would be unaffected as they autonomously failover to a secondary data source in a secondary cloud facility. 

With Oracle Autonomous Data Guard, administrators can also optionally improve production database performance by harnessing the public cloud to offload resource-intensive backup and reporting operations to standby systems.

  • ABR: Oracle Vs AWS & Oracle Cloud – The Same Capabilities Everywhere You Need Them. So what’s the unique selling proposition?

CV: Oracle Cloud@Customer is unique in its ability to give customers access to Oracle’s complete cloud suite on-premises rather than a stripped down version.

The product is launched to meet the demands from customers who want to have Oracle Cloud infrastructure on-premise. This is something that other competitors have failed to offer. 

Another key feature is that it helps broaden the base of customers who want to use Oracle Autonomous Database.

Not only is it the world’s only autonomous database, but it is highly converged, meaning that instead of needing separate databases for all different types of data as is currently typical, it can quickly and easily import data from multiple sources.

By bringing all of this data under one umbrella, it makes it much easier to manage, and then utilise for advanced analytics and against which to run artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms.

Its autonomous nature also frees database administrators and developers from mundane maintenance tasks, enabling them to innovate and create more business value. 

To better understand how Oracle compares with others. Here’s a quick comparison chart: 

Oracle Dedicated Region Cloud@CustomerAWS OutpostsAzure Stack Hub
# of ServicesOver 50 services. ALL services offered in Oracle’s second-generation public cloud regions.Five services. Limited set of compute and storage options.Under 10 services. Azure Stack Hub supports a subset of Azure services. Actual services vary based on what an organisation or service provider.
ComputeAll Bare Metal, VM, HPC and GPU shapes, and OS Management.Some EC2 VMsSome Azure VMs
StorageObject Storage
Archive Storage
Block Volume (includes Local NVMe SSD)
File Storage
Storage Gateway
Data Transfer
EBS gp2 (SSDs)Blob Storage
Queue Storage
Managed Disks
Data ManagementAutonomous Data Warehouse
Autonomous Transaction Processing
Database Cloud Service: Bare Metal
Database Cloud Service: Virtual Machine
Exadata Cloud at Customer
Exadata Cloud Service
Oracle MySQL Database Service
Oracle NoSQL Database Cloud Service
Data Catalog
Data Flow
Data Safe
Data Science
Digital Assistant
Integration Cloud
Amazon RDSTable Storage
Developer ServicesContainer Engine for Kubernetes
Container Registry
API Gateway
Content and Experience
WebLogic Server
Visual Builder
ManagementEmail Delivery
Resource Manager
AnalyticsAnalytics Cloud
Documents and Vault
NoneKey Vault
NetworkingDNS and Traffic Management
Load Balancing
Health Checks
Fast Connect and VCN
VPC Extension
Local Gateway
Express Route

Source: https://blogs.oracle.com/cloud-infrastructure/announcing-new-and-enhanced-cloud-at-customer-offerings#ref2

ABR: Finally, 100% Compatible Services – Identical Per Usage Pricing. Is this also such a big deal? Most of the competition touts similar offerings. Please explain why Oracle is unique in this regard.

CV: The big difference on pricing is that we’re massively cheaper – somewhere between 50 percent and 75 percent cheaper than our competitors, when it comes down to any real-world comparison of cloud bills.

But figuring out the true cost of cloud computing can be very difficult as there are so many variables in CPUs, memory, storage, and network bandwidth as well as figuring out how your proposed workload will need to scale in the future.

To help take the mystery out of what a given cloud implementation will cost when it’s actually used by the business we’ve created the Oracle Cloud Workload Cost Estimator

It helps customers assess Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and Amazon Web Services with an apple-to-apple comparison (or as close to that as you can get). We believe you will be surprised by the results, which show Oracle is a more cost-efficient (cheaper) option for many high-performance applications.

You will find that Oracle Cloud offers the best price performance for many of the most common cloud computing scenarios. 

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